Najlaa M Aljefree, Patricia Lee, Jamal M Al Saqqaf and Faruk Ahmed
Objective: Recent literature has suggested an association between low serum vitamin D levels and the burden of cardio-metabolic risk factors (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia). In the context of the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and cardio-metabolic risk factors in Saudi Arabia, this study was designed to examine the association between vitamin D deficiency and cardio-metabolic risk factors among adults with coronary heart disease (CHD) and without CHD in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A total of 130 CHD subjects and 195 subjects without CHD were recruited from three hospitals in the western region of the Kingdom. Fasting blood samples were collected from each subject to measure serum levels of vitamin D, glucose, and total cholesterol. Anthropometric and blood pressure were also measured.
Results: Subjects with CHD had a higher prevalence of diabetes (35.4% and 14%, respectively) and obesity (44% and 22%, respectively) compared with subjects without CHD. However, subjects without CHD had a higher prevalence of cholesterol (13.3% and 5.4%, respectively) and overweight (45% and 24.4%, respectively) than subjects with CHD. The results indicated that vitamin D deficiency [serum 25(OH)D<20 ng/mL] was associated with increased risk of diabetes in CHD subjects (OR: 2.9, 95% CI: 1.02-8.5, p=0.04), while there was no association observed in subjects without CHD (OR:1.4, 95% CI: 0.5-3.8, p=0.616). No significant associations were found between vitamin D deficiency and other cardio-metabolic risk factors including obesity, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia, in either group.
Conclusion: The present study reveals that vitamin D deficiency was associated with a higher risk of diabetes only in subjects with CHD, but not in subjects without CHD. However, this differential association between vitamin D deficiency and other cardio-metabolic risk factors was not observed. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.